Say Grace

The 20s are all about giving thanks. Thanksgiving marks the annual holiday season. It's the beginning of the most hospitable time of the year. For just over a month, people seem to put their qualms with one another to rest, spend excessive amounts of money, and finally express their gratitude. It's when nearly everyone finds their humility, recognizes where they are, and most importantly how they got there (one hint - we've all had some help, whether we're aware of it or not ... LOL at bootstrap theory). What you give is what you get, and so we bow our heads and say grace.

Let me start with a quote. "Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse" Henry Van Dyke. Thanksgiving is the one time of year that people seem to wake up from the obliviousness of just how pretty good their lives are. The thing about life is that we can easily point out the bad, the few moments or the situations that hinder us, but the general goodness that surrounds us is nearly invisible. Case in point, college - everything is paid for, food, housing, books, tuition - there's very few things you actually need (yes, there's a different between essentials and wants). Our lives are trivially sheltered with all the privileges we are unaware of. Hot water for showers, being able to buy food at a grocery store, having a car, not having to share a room, and the list goes on, and on, and actually way further than anyone could ever comprehend. Being an American citizen already advantages you in so many ways, but often the most forgotten is access (not necessarily acquisition) of resources. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say we should be grateful because there are those less fortunate than us. Well yes, that's a fact but that doesn't evoke much emotion other than some pity and some semblance of guilt usually. We don't have to compare what we have to others know we have something. Look around you, stop and think. Yes you could have more, yes you could have less, but right now - what do you have, that's what matters in the present. That quote resonates with me because in recent times it seems compassion and generosity have gone out the window. What happened to manners? When did making demands, or feelings of entitlement trump a simple "please and thank you." How did courtesy get cut out of the everyday picture? It's more a rarity now that people will treat you with common respect than with curt rudeness. I'm going to need everyone to settle down, and revert back to your childhood (here's me making the assumptions everyone learned these social skills). When people were sincere in their asking and their gratitude for everything. The smiles were hug and the emotion behind them genuine. Little kids know how to keep it real more than anyone else. Say grace, and then we go.

Giving is it's own reward. That's what they tell you but have you ever tried giving and expecting something in return? It always leaves you deprived of what you're expecting. When you give, contrary to those cliché sayings, you will get something in return. Not only do you get the benefit of knowing you've helped someone else, but I wholeheartedly promise you someone will remember and richly reward you (it may not be material things, mind you). My entire college existence is based on that notion, there would literally be no point to me doing the absolute utmost in giving my time, emotional support, and thought into all the things I do. People remember, and when I'm the first person that comes to mind, you know why. Generosity is the right way to be infamous. So you want to know what I'm thankful for this year? Honestly, I'm thankful for all the experiences this year has brought me both good and the oh so many bad. I've met some crazy characters this year, made some new friends, and reevaluated/lost some as well. Dear gosh, this year the drama reached quite possibly an all time high (at least in personal lifetime) and I also gained most of the necessary skills to deal with it all. I played it safe but also was moved out of comfort zone at times. I'm thankful for above all else my siblings. I don't care if you're not supposed to rank people or whatever, but I've said it time and time again, my sister is a godsend. To this day, without her I would no longer exist. She takes the time to listen and to make me laugh. Nobody gets me or cares about me more than she does - this I know. For that simple fact, there's no one else in this world that means more to me than her and thank goodness it goes both ways. All my brothers, each one brings a unique addition to me life and I'm not complete without any of the three. My parents, ooph there's too much to say. Not only are the most selfless people I've ever met (makes me make a lot more sense, right?) but their capacity to endure is matched by none. Unless you had immigrants for parents, you will never understand just how amazing what they've done and continue to do is. Last but not least there are my friends. This semester made me feel more "popular" than ever, but I quickly realized actual friends are few and far between. I'm thankful for the ones who take the time to know me, all of me - the externally put together exterior and the slightly unkempt details underneath. My friends who ask about me, not what I can do for them. The ones who seek me out and are unafraid to express their fondness of me - those are the ones I'm thankful for (so much shade has been thrown). I'm so very grateful for my complicated life, both the practical perfections and the unruly messes that come with it. I say grace and think of all those who have and are trying to figure out the unsolvable enigma that is me (look at me foreshadowing my next bombshell post - stay tuned).

The 20s are all about looking around you. When you stop and take the time to realize what you have, what you've earned, and what you've been given, it's more likely than not that you'll see just how much you have to be thankful for. We are surrounded by things to be thankful for. It shouldn't take a day with a namesake for benediction for us to express our gratitude for what people do for us. Let's make it a daily practice to not only internalize, but make it known that we appreciate people for who they are, where they are and what they do. Say grace and be done with it.

My blog post question for the day is ... who is someone you can't live without and why? My sister, we all is the sole reason I'm still around, without her, I would literally have no reason to exist. It's that serious. Read into the subtext right there, it's good and plenty.


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